Pre-listing Inspection situation

So I’ve come across an interesting situation and I wanted other inspectors input. So I’m doing a pre-listing inspection and the sellers (my clients) want the report alittle differently. My regular reports report on all visual deficiencies and some cosmetic issues within reason (like moisture staining in the attic). These clients want a report they can use to sell their home. So things like cosmetic issues aren’t really apart of it or recommended upgrades to the home. Now obviously we don’t have to mention upgrades or cosmetic issues so it’s not that I’m uncomfortable doing that I’m more just curious about how everyone else does it. Do you change your reports for a pre-listing (atleast if requested) to help them sell the home?

I am concerned you consider moisture stains in the attic a “cosmetic” issue :smile:

I am not to be hired to help someone sell a home.

I am hired to inspect the structure and produce a written report. No changes.


I do both types of reports exactly the same.


??? Cosmetic?

Moisture content. Moisture/Bulk Water Content is 'the quantity of water contained in a material." This would be a red flag in many cases.
Also aludes to RH/Relative Humidity.

I have to agree with, Brian.


Sorry bad example, I always say that moisture staining in and of itself is a cosmetic issue but is indicative of a moisture issue. I’ used to using that sentence that it was the first thing to come in my head.

I mention less cosmetic issues in a pre listing inspection, however the clients can not dictate what goes in the report, any issue still has to be there, anything different is fraud, possibly great for tne seller, the home inspector in the end would be liable for anything not in the report. Tell them up front that you have to report any findings , without agreement, turn down the inspection

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Off topic, but I would find a way to get the word “cosmetic” out of your reports.

Moisture staining is indictive of a moisture issue. Then make your recommendation.

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Two words… “Soft Report”!
(Would your client be a realtor by any chance?).


This seems pretty clearly a liability concern. I would first decide if the client is even worth the risk.
Secondly I would say it varies greatly on how the report is distributed to the potential buyers. If they receive a fully branded report from your digital database. I’d stay on point as every other inspection.
If your clients distribute the copies of your report to their buyers. They own it technically and can omit portions of your report; if not otherwise directed under your contracts.
I would walk away from this one mate. Refund and done.

Who cares if they omit portions of the report, alter it or whatever. The seller is the client and that will never change no matter who the report is distributed to.

Pre-listing inspections are good business.


Not saying all seller inspections. Im saying this particular one is one I would flag for concerns.

I’m sorry you don’t see what I’m getting at here with regards to liability risk management. Depending on the the process took and agreements signed. Man I see a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I do not get it. What is the added liability or risk management?

In the original post, the seller/client wants the inspector to leave out cosmetic or recommended upgrades. (seller has a point, they are not material defects unless it is a safety issue)

It is obvious the client is just trying to control the outcome. No way I would let that happen. Simple conversation with the client goes like this; “I will observe and report any defects and make recommendations accordingly”


That’s a good point and no sir.

Does your reporting software give the option to prepare a report summary that includes only safety issues and defects in need of attention? For instance, Spectora allows you to have 3 categories of defects (low/medium/high priority) and you can choose which categories to include on the summary with the completed report.

You provide a full report to your client that includes everything including cosmetic issues, along with a report summary they can share with potential buyers that includes only safety issues and defects in need of correction while excluding cosmetic issues or other low priority conditions. A couple page long summary report of defects would be easier for them to show buyers anyways, and definitely look less scary than a 50 page packet with everything in it…


You should do all of your inspections exactly the same. If you’re doing it for a seller, the best inspection and report you can give them is one that is done just like it would be from a buyer’s inspector. That is the most useful for them whether they understand that or not. Stick to your process. Never change your process for any client, realtor, etc. As soon as you do that, you open yourself up to all kinds of challenges and liability later.

Whenever a seller approaches you like this, it means they are trying to dictate what is in the report. Fuck them. Do your job. It’s not your job to help them sell the home. Your job is to report material defects.


Truth is Brian we’re both speculating on the intentions of the client. With not enough information either way.

I however was under the impression we were in this forum to look out for each other’s best interest. Which in many cases is going to allow for multiple perspectives.

Such as this circumstance.

While I’m not trying to make a stand as a superior. I’m simply trying to provide assistance to our brother beyond just satisfying his customer in the moment. :owl:

I do the report the exact same buyers inspection or sellers inspection. If you find defects and they fix them, they pay for a reinspect for those items, then update the report.
check out Nachi’s

and Seller's Pre-Listing Inspection - InterNACHI®

for more info.

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I did the reports the same and added an addendum if the sellers fixed defects (But, they had to provide receipts from qualified professionals. Otherwise, NO addendum…unless silly simple repair.) in the report. And they paid for the addendum(s)…kind of like William. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I always write reports for the sellers as if they were the buyer. I don’t change the language.

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